The Arena, Fr Josiah Trenham’s long-running blog, is a wonderful read for Orthodox Christians, but offers a lot of wisdom from other traditions. In this post, Fr Josiah quotes the ever-wonderful C. S. Lewis (known by a former member of my parish, now a seminarian, as St. Clive of Oxford). The quote goes as follows:
If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.
C. S. Lewis
So true. So practice your faith at every moment possible.
Joy is a great remedy. I recommend it to you and I do so very enthusiastically…! Be joyful! I say it again ‘be joyful’! When we are joyful, we are less aware of evil and are cured more quickly. Cast all your cares on God; He is the best of fathers and will look after you as well as possible.
Blessed Giuseppina Nicoli (1863-1924), Feast Day December 31
May the Holy Family never withdraw its loving gaze from you and your family. Model yourselves on it and you will have peace, and spiritual and temporal well-being.
Saint Padre Pio (1887-1968), Feast of the Holy Family, December 30
The precious death of any martyr deserves high praise because of his heroic confession; the death of these children is precious in the sight of God because of the beatitude (blessing) they gained so quickly.
Saint Augustine (354-430), Sermon for Feast of the Holy Innocent, December 28
I want to follow you wherever you take me, freely, willingly, joyfully. Break my will! Let your will reign in me! I do not want to make my own plans. Let your will be done in me and through me. No matter how hard it might be, I want to love Your will! I want to be one with You, my Beloved, my Spouse.
Blessed Sara Ashkenazi (1899-1944), Martyr, Feast Day December 27
Yesterday the Lord of the universe welcomed us whereas today it is the imitator (Stephen) of the Lord. How are they related to each other? One assumed human nature on our behalf while the other shed it for his Lord. One accepted the cave of this life for us, and the other left it for him. One was wrapped in swaddling clothes for us, and the other was stoned for him. One destroyed death, and the other scorned it.
Saint Gregory of Nyssa (330-396), Sermon for Feast of Saint Stephen, December 26
Look not therefore upon Him Who was laid in the manger as a babe merely, but in our poverty see Him Who as God is rich, and in the measure of our humanity Him Who excels the inhabitants of heaven, and Who therefore is glorified even by the holy angels.
Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386), Doctor of the Church
Oh, yes, we do indeed truly believe that Jesus Christ came upon earth, that He provided the most convincing proofs of His divinity. Hence the reason for our hope. We rejoice, and we have good reason to recognize Jesus Christ as our God, our Savior, and our Model. Here is the foundation of our faith.
Saint John Vianney (1786-1859)
We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success; nor on sciences that cloud the intellect. Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone.
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), Feast Day December 22
St Padre Pio
Far into the night, at the coldest time of the year, in a chilly grotto, more suitable for a flock of beasts than for humans, the promised Messiah – Jesus – the savior of mankind, comes into the world in the fullness of time. There are none who clamor around him: only an ox and an ass lending their warmth to the newborn infant; with a humble woman, and a poor and tired man, in adoration beside him.
Saint Padre Pio (1887-1968)